5 Free Ways to Support an Author (and 1 Step to Avoid)

Review the book online

Amazon and Goodreads will recommend the book to others, but only if it has enough reviews. How many is enough? It’s some secret algorithm that changes depending on genre, demand, etc. Rumors say 50-100 reviews are needed to break in. Who knows for sure? But more is better. 

Request the book from the library

Library readers will gamble on unknown authors. They read piles of books, belong to book clubs, post reviews, and buy books as gifts. Libraries have incredible reach. Go to your library’s Contact Us page, and request they buy a copy of the book. Then check it out to show them there’s demand enough to keep the title active. 

Request the eBook or Audio from the library

In addition to all the great reasons above, there’s more. For digital titles, the author gets paid every time the book is checked out. Usually you need to make this request through the library’s digital app (often Overdrive or Libby). 

Loan your copy to a friend

This does not deprive an author of sales, but exposes new readers to the author. Recommendations are great, but handing a copy over and saying “you have to read this” is far more powerful. Keep the story circulating. 

Join the author’s mailing list

Authors request to be featured by bloggers and other media hosts. It’s expected that the author will announce the interview to their readers, creating more exposure for the host. Both parties win. But to make it worth their effort, the hosts often want to know that the author has a substantial reader following. Add your email to the author’s mailing list to help them land new opportunities. 

Avoid messing with bookstore displays

Booksellers put a lot of thought into how books are displayed. If you move books or face them out, booksellers notice, are annoyed, and may consider not carrying the title. If you want to help, compliment the bookseller on their selection and let them know how much you loved the book.

And, thank you for being the type of person to read an article on supporting your favorite authors! How wonderful you exist in the world.

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